During the INVITATION stage of our Inquiry Cycle, C&S students shared a lot of things they already know about food. [You can read the KWL chart we made during the Think-Wonder-Learn thinking routine in the last blog post.] As we started our INVESTIGATION stage of inquiry and explored the 5 food groups and how each one of them benefits us, our Wonderings changed into a completely different direction.
The new TENSIONS that arouse in our discussions were:
What is flour?
Where do shops get flour from?
Why is sugar not part of any food group?
Why is sugar so bad for us?
Why do we get bigger/fatter from eating too much sugary foods?
Since these are pretty big questions, we have decided to split them into 2 groups: flour wonderings and sugar wonderings. Let me share with you the exciting inquiry that developed from our explorations of the Grains Food Group.
To begin with, we watched a video about a farmer using a simple hands-on method of making flour out of a few wheat stocks he collected from his field. The children really wanted to experience this process for themselves. But since we couldn’t quickly find any source of raw wheat, we were led to discover as a class that in fact flour can be made out of any grain. So rice, here we come! – The most common grain found in Thailand.
First, we explored the use of a wooden mortar and pestle.
It was a challenge and took a lot of effort to grind rice into smaller pieces. It looked more like cracked rice then flour at this stage. We discovered that a large stone and a metal bowl did a much better job.
Now what can we do with the rice flour we made? It turns out there are many exciting recipes to try out. So we stopped at a healthy option of Cheese Hearts. Students have decided to be risk-takers and taste a different kind of cookie – without any sugar, and with as many food groups included as possible. Taking into consideration food allergies in our class, we have also experimented with making a Banana Cookie, made without egg and dairy products.
Our Cheese Hearts and Banana Cookies came out delicious! Everyone really enjoyed this healthy snack!
We had one cookie left, which everyone voted to bring to the school office and treat our dear office staff with, making sure to share what we have learned about healthy eating.
But that’s not the end of our Flour Investigation! We are planning on going on exploring the role of flour in cooking. Our next project next week will be Home-Made Pasta!
Ok, so we did find a wheat substitute later on: barley! It looked very similar. We watched a video of a Flour Mill Factory explaining in detail how wheat flour is made in large quantities for shops. As we watched the samples of the wheat processing stages, we paused the video and felt the various stages hands-on: barley, semolina, whole wheat and finally white flour. We discovered why white flour is not as healthy as whole wheat flour, which led us to our next wondering:
Why do people make and use white flour if it has so little goodies and nutrition in it?
We had to explore these various stages of wheat in our Dramatic Play Kitchen, of course! So right after the video there was lots of buzz and excitement in our Pretend Play Center.
This is a little peak into dough making exploration that developed during the Dramatic Play!
For your interest, here is the recipe for the Cheese Hearts taken from
Gluten Free Cheesy Hearts
Recipe by Aarti Sarin Jain
Love cheese? This gluten free and cheesy cookie will get you hooked.
100gm Cheddar, finely grated
50gm brown rice flour
1/4tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds, soaked in water till it blooms
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree C. Lightly grease a baking sheet and keep aside.
2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to bind it into a dough. Flatten the dough between two cling films and place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and immediately cut it with a metal cookie cutter.
4. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Try it! You might just like it 🙂